With no major wildfires burning in the state so far this summer, Oregon’s Department of Transportation would like to keep it that way.  ODOT’s Kacey Davey says vehicles are the number one cause of summertime wildfires in Oregon.

“Driving off-road when there’s dry grass under your car. So, any of that dry grass coming in contact with hot parts of your car, that can start wildfires. People toss lit cigarettes out of their vehicles all of the time. So, put those out in your car, please."

Davey said other vehicle issues, such as driving on rims because of a flat tire, a faulty exhaust, or dragging tow chains can cause sparks which can lead to a wildfire.  She also suggested making sure your car is properly maintained, especially if you plan to go off-roading.

And Davey said it’s a good idea to pack a fire prevention kit.

“I carry things like a shovel; in case there’s a little spark I see, I can shovel some dirt on it. I carry a bucket, in case I can put dirt in it or water and throw it on a fire. And, I also carry a fire extinguisher."

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation: in 2021, more than 70% of the state’s wildfires were human-caused, and vehicles were the #1 cause.

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